Apple MobileMe R.I.P.; Long Live Apple iCloud

Apple's new iCloud play

"Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge," Apple said in an e-mail to MobileMe customers. "After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available."

Apple MobileMe was a dog, despite being launched to great fanfare and demand as a cloud-based suite of productivity and communications apps like e-mail, calendaring, storage and more. Almost immediately following its 2008 release, the cloud service was plagued with bugs and often suffered outages and failed to perform to user expectations. While Apple eventually righted the MobileMe ship, rumors hinted that a more sophisticated version of MobileMe was on the way, which is essentially what Apple launched this week with iCloud.

iCloud is a cloud-based service that allows users to automatically save content like photos, music, documents and more into the cloud so it is accessible from up to 10 devices. At Apple's WWDC 2011 this week in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that iCloud will work on iOS, PC and Mac devices and will be officially available in the fall as part of the release of Apple iOS 5.

iCloud is an integral part of Apple's cloud strategy, which has already seen the erection of a massive data center in North Carolina, the leasing of an additional data center in California and the hiring of key cloud and data center executives.

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iCloud customers that make the transition from MobileMe will keep their MobileMe e-mail addresses, mail, contacts, calendars and bookmarks. And iCloud will be free for iOS5 and OS X Lion users, Apple said.

"When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move," Apple said in the e-mail.

For Apple and Jobs, the killing of MobileMe is bittersweet, as the company clung to the $99 per year cloud service since its launch three years ago.

"It wasn't our finest hour, let me just say that. But we learned a lot." Jobs told the WWDC 2011 crowd about MobileMe.

Jobs' stage banter was more light-hearted than the tongue-lashing he reportedly gave Apple's MobileMe team to show his displeasure of the product, Apple Insider reported.

"You've tarnished Apple's reputation..." Jobs reportedly said. "You should hate each other for having let each other down…"